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No long shot: Phoenix artist to appear on Season 11 of NBC’s ‘The Voice’

PHOENIX — After performing at shows throughout the Valley for the last 15 years, Phoenix singer-songwriter Blaine Long will now take his music to a national audience.

Long is set to compete on Season 11 of NBC’s “The Voice” this fall. He impressed the judges during his blind audition, and was picked up by country star Blake Sheldon to join Team Blake.

“You’re trying not to bail and fall down,” Long said of his audition experience. “But it is like a gig. Once the song starts, you just play to the people.”

But there is the whole chair thing, he said. And it did throw him off a bit. It reminded him that this was more than just a performance.

“Boom! You see the chair move and you see the floor light up.”

Blake Shelton turned first, followed immediately by Miley Cyrus. Adam Levine was the last to turn his chair. Long said he just tried to stay focused on the crowd but it was tough when Levine turned.

“For some reason, I pointed at him,” he said. “You know, you just do kind of weird stuff in the moment.”

The judges weren’t the only ones impressed by Long’s audition. His rendition of John Hiatt’s “Have a Little Faith in Me” reached number 82 on the top 100 charts.

Long said Hiatt was an easy choice. He’s one of Long’s favorites, but had never played “Have a Little Faith in Me” before.

“I felt like even if nobody turned if I could just do a good job with the song I was lucky and kind of honored to do it,” he said.

A resident of Chandler, Long began writing original music at the age of 15 and dropped out of school to pursue a career in the industry. Since then, he’s written hundreds of songs and released nine albums on iTunes.

“It was through Grant Woods, Arizona’s former attorney general,” he said. “He started a record label and it was through that. I was the first artist to sign to the label.”

With soulful vocals and a rhythmic acoustic guitar style, Long prides himself on the craft of songwriting and performing. He and his wife Joni have two adopted children, who Long supports by playing five times a week.

Long said he never thought he’d be on “The Voice.”

Long will now go head-to-head against singers from other teams for the grand prize of a recording contract. “The Voice” airs on NBC every Monday and Tuesday at 5 p.m.

KTAR’s Kaely Monahan contributed to this report.

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